Feb. 24, 2009
WILLIMANTIC, CT-Host Eastern Connecticut State outscored the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team in the second half, 29-11, and pulled away for a 60-40 victory in their Little East Conference quarter-final playoff game at the Geissler Gymnasium Tuesday evening.
The Corsairs battled the Warriors on virtually even terms throughout the first half, never trailing by more than five points. Sophomore forward Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, MA/Barnstable HS) hit a free throw to give UMass Dartmouth a 29-28 lead with 32 seconds remaining before Brittany Whiteley's three-pointer with seven seconds remaining sent ECSU to the locker room with a two-point halftime advantage.
UMD freshman guard Rayven Tillman (Plymouth, MA/Sturgis Charter School) connected on a layup early in the second half to tie the score at 31-31, but ECSU used a 15-3 run to take a 46-34 lead with 10:41 remaining.
"We played a great 20 minutes," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "It was exciting, the fans were engaged, and we were in it. We did a better job of shutting down their post players, (junior forward) Kaylin (Nelson, New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS/Salve Regina) scored 14 points in the first half, and Rayven did a good job and ended up as our high scorer. In the second half, it was a different story. We did a decent job on the boards, but we didn't shoot as well and they had some transition baskets. The better team won."
Tillman led the Corsairs with 15 points, while Nelson had 14 points and nine rebounds. Whiteley led Eastern Connecticut with 19 points, Jessica Moriarty had 13, and Kate Brunet added 10. The Warriors out rebounded UMD, 38-25, made 40.7 per cent of their shots from the field, and held the Corsairs to 18.2 per cent from the field in the second half after UMass Dartmouth shot 45.8 per cent in the first half.
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 3-23 with the defeat, while Eastern Connecticut State improved to 24-1 with the victory. The game was the final action of the season for the Corsairs.